Spitzer’s Sex Scandal Sullies Superdelegate Status

Spitzer and Hillary
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This Spitzer business is just about the only thing that could have overshadowed coverage of the presidential race (there’s a primary today, remember? Anybody?), but it pertains to Clinton, too. Spitzer is a superdelegate pledged to Hillary Clinton — until he resigns, at least, which is widely expected. Once he does, Spitzer will lose his vote, and another superdelegate pledged to Clinton, Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, will take his seat. Paterson can't vote twice, so in effect, that means the total superdelegate count goes down by one — and Clinton loses one of her precious votes. But there is a slim hope for the delegate-starved Clinton yet.

Paterson was awarded superdelegate status by dint of his membership in the Democratic National Party. (Spitzer only scored it when he became governor.) If Paterson resigns from the DNC, voilà: His original superdelegate spot opens back up. According to Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the DNC, party chairman Howard Dean would select this new superdelegate. Dean, to continue this highly hypothetical line of thinking, could appoint someone he knows to be a Clinton supporter in order to maintain the pre-Spitzergate balance and avoid accusations of meddling or favoritism. How likely is this? Not very. U.S. congressman Gregory Meeks, of Queens, for instance, also has dual superdelegate status (without, apparently, feeling overwhelmed), and there's no guarantee that Dean would choose another Clinton supporter. “I don’t see why [Paterson] would” resign, LaVera told us. —Dan Amira